Book Review ~ Evolution: The Grand Experiment Vol. 1
By Dr. Carl Werner Photographs by Debbie Werner
Nonfiction ~20 chapters~ 257 pages
This is a phenomenal resource for examining the views of Evolution vs. Creation! It is well-thought out, beautifully illustrated, and easy to understand. The high quality pictures, charts and illustrations used in this book skillfully illustrate several concepts that can be very difficult to grasp.
This book is designed to teach a critical examination of the theory of evolution to students of public and private schools from grades 8 and up. However, I think it is also great reading for anyone on the quest to discover more about the origin of life.
The book has an excellent layout. Each page is full of information that is set up in an easy to read and spacious format. The artwork directs your eyes on a journey through each page. The artwork is also a wonderful "hook" to draw the reader into the subject. This book is an excellent resource for students that are very visually oriented.
The different topics are well designated into twenty chapters. Each chapter is broken down into sections. I think this makes the book very reader friendly, easily readable in small sections at a time.
To give you a taste of the feast of information in this book, I have included a small glimpse of five chapters of the book. I've also included a few comments.
Chapter 1 The Origin of Life: Two Opposing Views "How did life begin? One view is that an all powerful God created the universe and all forms of life. Another view proposes that the universe began billions of years ago as a result of the big bang."
Chapter one summarizes the pros and cons of the Creation vs. Evolution debate. I love the Gallup poll chart that shows American's beliefs about Creation vs. Evolution. I also enjoyed the many quotes shared from both sides of the debate.
Chapter 2 Evolutions Fall Start: Spontaneous Generation "Even Scientists Can Be Wrong." Chapter two shares three "proofs" for Spontaneous Generation. A picture is worth a thousand words in this section. This chapter demonstrates the faulty thinking about spontaneous generation in an excellent manner. Not to mention that I did get a chuckle out of one of the proofs.
Chapter 3 Darwin's False Mechanism for Evolution: Acquired Characteristics Chapter three shares four examples of acquired characteristics and how the idea was eventually proved wrong. Each example is well illustrated.
Chapter 4 Natural Selection and Chance Mutations Chapter four offers thought provoking questions and illustrations about natural selection. The use of a bit of humor in this chapter is well done. I really enjoyed the discussion on how many parts of a hyena would have to change to become a whale. To make this chapter even better, it calculated the odds of a hyena type creature mutating into a whale - and illustrated this difficult concept spectacularly.
Chapter 5 Similarities: A Basic Proof of Evolution? "Many scientists believe that similarities in animals are evidence for the theory of evolution." Chapter 5 offers the thought provoking question: "Do similarities prove Evolution?" Then it gives specific examples of how scientists have been proven wrong when using similarities as evidence for evolution. It beautifully diagrams several unrelated animals with similar features.
Dr. Carl Werner and Debbie Werner have done a fabulous job weaving multiple learning styles throughout this book. Evolution: The Grand Experiment, is a book that is interesting and understandable, with balanced scientific information that is well worth the investment!
Note: A teacher's manual and video series are also available to go with this book.
I am currently using this textbook for my 2nd grader, 5th grader, and 8th grader. We begin with a class discussion from the teacher workbook, which draws my children into wanting to learn more as they answer questions before studying the chapter. The text holds the attention of all my children because of the great pictures. I finish the chapter with a discussion of the questions on the quizzes in the workbook. Because this textbook is ideally for ages 12+, I am wondering how others incorporate it into a high school curriculum. We do a chapter a day and we are nearly finished with the textbook. With 20 chapters, it can be done in a month. We are studying biology this year and I believe this book offers excellent information that is not as in-depth in other textbooks.
Wow, what a fantastic book. The presentation is top notch, it looks like a coffee table book, but oh so much more! The photographs are top quality and definitely add as perfect examples for the explanations. The writing is plain, the scientific examples easy to understand and comprehend. The author has taken each type of distinct life form on earth and showed what fossils have proved or disproved about it's development. He has included remarks from both pro-evolution and pro-creation scientists and then ended each chapter with a question: "What do you think?" Very effective. He has included the different theories of life over the centuries and pointed out how and why they originated and disappeared. He has an excellent chapter on what the scientists have proven in the last century since Darwin and includes a very understandable explanation of DNA and proteins. A wonderful book that could be used as a student textbook or as an adult reference book ~ 5 stars
I purchased this book because I was looking for something that discusses both sides of the evolution/creation debate so that I can educate myself on what evolutionists say. I was very disappointed. From the outset, it is very obvious that Dr. Werner is only out to discredit evolution, and not at all to give a balanced view of the subject. He opens the book with a presentation of what Americans believe on the subject. He then presents several evolutionary beliefs that have been proven to be false and a discussion of the problem with using similarities as the basis for determining the relationships of animals. The next ten chapters are a rather redundant presentation of the fossil record of a number of creatures and how the evidence for evolution just is not there. Dr. Werner concludes the book with a discussion of DNA and proteins and how their complexity is contrary to the likelihood of evolution.Overall, I'd have to say it is a very good presentation of arguments against evolution. But I do not feel at all prepared to hold a discussion on the subject with a convicted evolutionist. I guess what is missing is the evolutionist's counter-arguments. If evolution were this easy to refute I can't believe that it would still be so prominent. I was hoping to educate myself on the evolutionary side while still maintaining the creationist viewpoint, but I was disappointed.